Akashic Realms Volume 1: Emperors & Einherjar PDF

5.00/5 (based on 1 rating)

Our Price: $7.99

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

Dance between Strange Stars and the Spears of Heaven!

Explore new Realms of the Infinite in this expansion. Akashic Realms Volume 1: Emperors & Einherjar adds new planar lore, strange new Kingdoms, and expanded options for akashic characters from the City of 7 Seraphs!

New content includes:

  • Planar lore detailing new Realms, locations, and personae to expand your City of 7 Seraphs games.
  • New feats to expand the akashic abilities of your characters.
  • New veil sets from among these strange new Realms.
  • A new cosmology of constellations for the zodiac class.
  • New Planar Convergences for the nexus class.

And much more!

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

LSPCO7SAR1E


See Also:

Average product rating:

5.00/5 (based on 1 rating)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

More Akashic goodness? HEL YEAH!

5/5

(the title is a vain attempt at comedy, not a typo... JOKE EXPLAINED!)

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on a free PDF provided by the author and the publisher, which in no way had an influence on the final score.

So, another Akashic book by the master of the Akashic system Michael Sayre, after the two previous mind-blowing ones… can he maintain the quality? Read on!

What’s inside?
Not taking into account the covers, credits, and legal stuff, we are left with 39 pages of content for 8 bucks, which include:

-4 planes, which includes enough information to run a campaign there. There are planar traits (with a new akashic essence planar feature), locations, inhabitants and even ties with the City of Seven Seraphs campaign setting! Apart from that, each section includes new PC game material, from a new aasimar variant, Planar Conduit feat options, 3 new Nexus convergences, a new akashic style feat chain, to a whole 12 sign cosmology based on the Chinese Zodiac! The planes are Valhalla (a chaotic good plane), The Kingdom of the Five Emperors (a true neutral plane with 1 realm for each alignment component), the Dark Shogunate (a kind of “Hell” for the Kingdom of the Five Emperors, opposing balance), and the least developed of all, the Cloud Stairway (kind of a new transitive plane).

-15 new veils: Divided in one set of 10, the Asgardian Saga, and one of 5, the O-Yoroi of the Obsidian Ronin, these veils get away from the middle East flavor of the original Akashic Mysteries book, and embrace a Nordic and a Japanese flavor. Not only that, the Asgardian Saga veils represent iconic items or features of the Asgardian pantheon, which lets you build a kind of akashic priest in concept! The Asgardian saga is fully accessible to the Nexus class, and the O-Yoroi is fully accessible only to the Eclipse, which is an interesting departure from the norm established in Akashic Trinity.

-18 Feats: This section include 15 feats, not counting the Mistmask style feat chain found under the Cloud Stairway. Here we have the reprint of 3 conduit feats, which allow you to become a living conduit for a specific plane’s energies (conceptually great for a Nexus). We also get the Amateur Astrologist and Noble Astrologist reprints from the Zodiac book, which are great if you don’t have said book. Why? Because having one or both of these feats gives you access to a constellation’s power without being a Zodiac. Speaking of which, if you wanted to have access to a constellation outside of your cosmology (say, if you wanted a water weapon for your Greek cosmology Zodiac wink wink), you could access one extra sign with the Expanded Cosmology feat.

There is an unseen problem with this feat, since you can access it via Zodiac class features OR the Amateur Astrologist. Where is the problem? You see, the Amateur Astrologist gives you access to all manifestations of a sign, except for the champion, but the Expanded Cosmology doesn’t. This makes the Noble Astrologist feat almost completely obsolete, since if you wanted to dabble in signs, you could chose a sign without a champion form and then get access to other signs complete array of manifestations via Expanded Cosmology.

Finally, we have the new Convergence feat type especially tailored to the Nexus class. For each veil shaped after the first from the same set, you get a nifty bonus, and an extra one if you get all veils from a set. You are not a Nexus? Don’t worry, you can access Convergences through the new Lattice-Born feat. There is one weird glitch here, since the Dark Shogunate full set of five veils are only available to the Eclipse class, and only two to the Nexus. This makes it a suboptimal choice for the Nexus, and even for the Eclipse since they don’t get the planar detonation ability to get full use of the feat. After speaking to the author, you have to multiclass ;) Anyway, the planar detonation class feature gets expanded with the Versatile Detonation feat, which lets you deal the other two types of physical damage, slashing and bludgeoning, plus the ability to invest in the feat to augment the damage and features of your detonation. Great addition!

-Creature Appendix, which include all creatures relevant to the book, be them Zodiac sign champions, veil-created allies, or planar denizens. This is a very handy feature!

-12 Concordant Zodiac signs, divided in the classic 4 elements with 3 in each. Unlike it’s Greek counterpart, ALL signs have a champion form, and each element nicely has access to 2 armors, equipment and weapons. This translates into 36 abilities, 8 more than the standard Greek cosmology, but then again it is so balanced that I won’t complain. The author told me it is a design decision, which is nice to know (and after explaining that the original cosmology has some powerful, classed champions, reasonable).

Of Note: The idea of having new planes that are not demi-planes just because, is groundbreaking and I applaud the departure from tradition. The Convergence feats reward Nexus for their loyalty, and the Chinese Zodiac cosmology is a great addition to an already great class.

Anything wrong?: Is not a secret that I’m a fan of all things akashic, and I really, really enjoyed this book. HOWEVER, as a reviewer, I have to comment on the problems of the book. There are a couple of writing mistakes here and there, which is understandable. There are some design oversight that I already mentioned. Noble Astrologist is almost useless now, and god, the legal section is HUGE!

What I want: I would have loved to get more info about the planes, which are the star of the book. I STILL want more convergences, and veil sets tailored for other classes like Radiants and Gurus. And that Vol. 1 in the title makes me salivate.

What cool things did this inspire?: By now, there are a lot of weapon-like veils, and if you add the weapon form of constellations, it could make for a nifty archetype that focuses on them, maybe inspired by Archer Gilgamesh from the Fate/Stay Night anime… I would play that!

Do I recommend it?: YES! It is one of the more inspired akashic books since the original, and deals with many untouched themes and design spaces. Normally, I would take one star off from the score because of the problems the book have, but the great things greatly overwhelms the few bad ones, so 5 Asgardian stars from this reviewer.


Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Why, hello there...

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Thanks to the xiao for an awesome review!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks to you guys for such an inspired and inspiring book!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A fan of your work, Mr. Sayre. Very much enjoyed Akashic Realms and am looking forward to the next one. That said, I do have a question...

Michael Sayre wrote:
In the Asgardian Saga, Gungnir can be wielded in one hand while you're mounted (such as on Sleipnir or even Geri and Freki, depending on your size), and Gungnir grants a shield bonus that scales with essence, so the general idea was that you would basically be using Mjolnir as your primary weapon, but with the ability to guard yourself with Gungnir thanks to its greater reach and shield bonus. I think it works pretty neatly when you've got the various pieces of the set up and running, but YMMV.

While I can appreciate the intent, using Sleipnir to invoke a phantom steed only becomes an option for a Nexus (the only class with all of the Asgardian Saga on their class veil list) at level 16, at which you have a steed with an AC in the teens and a hit point total in the twenties. This feels quite late for the fighting style to be used to its full effect, especially since it requires not only Mounted Combat but Two Weapon Fighting to use fully, while suffering the penalties for using two weapon fighting without one of the weapons being a light weapon, meaning either the full style must wait until level 19 to have all the pieces and take the feats, or the feats must be taken ahead of time and will have at least one level where they're still waiting for the style to come online.

Of course, a small character can sidestep this, as you mentioned above, using Geri & Freki.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Belltrap wrote:

A fan of your work, Mr. Sayre. Very much enjoyed Akashic Realms and am looking forward to the next one. That said, I do have a question...

Michael Sayre wrote:
In the Asgardian Saga, Gungnir can be wielded in one hand while you're mounted (such as on Sleipnir or even Geri and Freki, depending on your size), and Gungnir grants a shield bonus that scales with essence, so the general idea was that you would basically be using Mjolnir as your primary weapon, but with the ability to guard yourself with Gungnir thanks to its greater reach and shield bonus. I think it works pretty neatly when you've got the various pieces of the set up and running, but YMMV.

While I can appreciate the intent, using Sleipnir to invoke a phantom steed only becomes an option for a Nexus (the only class with all of the Asgardian Saga on their class veil list) at level 16, at which you have a steed with an AC in the teens and a hit point total in the twenties. This feels quite late for the fighting style to be used to its full effect, especially since it requires not only Mounted Combat but Two Weapon Fighting to use fully, while suffering the penalties for using two weapon fighting without one of the weapons being a light weapon, meaning either the full style must wait until level 19 to have all the pieces and take the feats, or the feats must be taken ahead of time and will have at least one level where they're still waiting for the style to come online.

Of course, a small character can sidestep this, as you mentioned above, using Geri & Freki.

I wouldn't consider "Two-Weapon Fighting" with them strictly necessary; fighting with Mjolnir as your main weapon by tossing it around or bashing things within reach (or making big planar-detonation-enhanced attacks) and then allowing Gungnir to be your "I need to switch to piercing/non-elemental damage" back-up as well as your "fence of AoO death and then a shield as well" is really effective even if you're not actually using Two-Weapon Fighting mechanics; there's no TWF penalties on AoOs, so functionally Mjolnir and Gungnir become hammer and shield where the shield is also a lance and ballista bolt.

There's a certain amount of assumption in the design that you almost certainly will have non-veil-granted mounts for many levels before you actually have Sleipnir's bind; it'll be giving you a +5 to Ride checks long before it gives you a magic horse (as well as the Handle Animal bonus from Geri and Freki) so just because you don't specifically have Sleipnir doesn't mean that some portion of your wealth shouldn't/couldn't be going to have a horse, griffon, pegasus, etc. That's also why veils like Sif's Golden Hair and the Bifrost Boots give you some burst debuff and ally AC-boosts, so you can keep mounts alive for longer than the base system mechanics often accommodate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Aha, I was under the misapprehension that in order for the shield bonus to function, it needed to be used for offense, much like weapons with the defending enhancement.

... Of course, it was less than 24 hours after I posted my observations about Sleipnir's fragility that I had the epiphany that a Nexus could always just take Noble Astrologist (or dip Zodiac) and use a constellation champion as a considerably more sturdy mount that comes online much sooner...

Thank you for your time, Mr. Sayre, and for the clarifications.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Belltrap wrote:


... Of course, it was less than 24 hours after I posted my observations about Sleipnir's fragility that I had the epiphany that a Nexus could always just take Noble Astrologist (or dip Zodiac) and use a constellation champion as a considerably more sturdy mount that comes online much sooner...

Oh, for sure! There's plenty of options from both zodiac cosmologies currently available and a whole additional cosmology coming in Volume 2 of Akashic Realms!


Michael Sayre wrote:


Oh, for sure! There's plenty of options from both zodiac cosmologies currently available and a whole additional cosmology coming in Volume 2 of Akashic Realms!

AND THE OSCAR FOR THE GREATEST TEASE GOES TO...

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
the xiao wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:


Oh, for sure! There's plenty of options from both zodiac cosmologies currently available and a whole additional cosmology coming in Volume 2 of Akashic Realms!
AND THE OSCAR FOR THE GREATEST TEASE GOES TO...

'Tis a tease no more!

Akashic Realms: The Quiet Lands available on DriveThruRPG! Coming soon to a Paizo near you!

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Akashic Realms Volume 1: Emperors & Einherjar PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.